Skills Gained in an M.A. Curriculum and Instruction Program
There are many skills that can be gained with an M.A. in curriculum and instruction from Point Park University. I have enjoyed my program, and I found that many of the skills can be built upon once you enter the workforce. I currently am not employed within a school district, but in a company in which these skills apply. I also think that these skills will help me with career advancement. I think that over time these skills will improve and will open the door to more opportunities.
When I began my journey with this degree, I was not sure of what the outcome would be. Typically, I like to have more of a plan in mind, but with this I got started and embraced what was to come. I knew what I would be learning about, but I didn’t have a true grip on career outcomes. I think it is true that you do not always have to know; you just have to have a general idea and ensure that it relates to your interests.
First, one of the skills I learned directly through the coursework in this program is to apply technology across the curriculum. There are many ways to do so meaningfully for students, but first we must understand exactly what we are teaching in the curriculum framework. We must also understand the technology itself to determine if it is suitable. With the way the world is today, we are expecting that technology will play an even more fundamental role in schools moving forward.
Another skill I learned is to vary instructional methods to suit my learners in a way that they can learn to their fullest potentials. All students tend to learn differently. Some different instructional methods include differentiated instruction, direct instruction, inquiry-based learning, and more. It is all about tailoring to what your students need effectively. I think with varying instructional methods, it needs to be considered how small grouping can help with content mastery and academic progress.
Another skill I gained is leadership. This leadership could include providing guidance and mentoring to those who need it, as well as leading teams. Although in my current role I do not lead a team, I aspire to one day. I consider my leadership skills to be a part of a skillset that will continue to grow overtime.
Next, I gained the skill of communication through this program. I strive to clearly explain myself regarding any changes I make to my work. I also provide reasoning for the changes.
Last, I gained the skills of making informed decisions and thinking analytically. I can look at data and information from lesson plans and make decisions accordingly. Data can tell us a lot about growth and movements to be made going forward, so this has helped me tremendously.
With this degree, there are a variety of career paths one can pursue which include but are not limited to instructional coaching, curriculum design, assessment coordination, and many administrative positions. I truly think it is beneficial for one to identify their strengths and areas of stronger interest and narrow their career path selection from there.
Down the road, I would not mind pursuing something on the administrative end. When I was teaching in the schools, I worked alongside many instructional coaches and assessment coordinators. I think they would be interesting positions as well. I’d enjoy serving as a consultant to teachers to help improve their practice.
With this degree, there are many additional opportunities that may become available. These opportunities may include leading curriculum in your grade level, leading professional development, or other leadership opportunities.
I also experienced these roles in action when I taught in the public school system. The instructional coach that came into my classroom several times led wonderful professional development opportunities for the whole county. I would enjoy taking on an opportunity to lead professional development opportunities for staff members. It would provide a great way to get together with colleagues, share ideas, research, and provide rich experiences and learning for all.
With this degree, there are also opportunities that can become available outside the classroom. I think there are many online opportunities that may become available as well, such as those in instructional design and curriculum development. Truthfully, the possibilities are endless. I think it is a great idea for anyone in the education field to at least give thought to this program, as there are many opportunities that can come out of it, and many ways to attain career advancement.
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